Monday, August 10, 2009

The latest scrapbook page (comic book style) - the pictures were from just over a year ago.

(In case you can't read the talk bubbles)

- Issue #34 "I scream you scream we all scream for ice-cream!"

"You want an ice cream bar, Renna?"

:Uncle Daniel speaks of things that I have not yet discovered...

:WOW! This is the most amazing, incredible thing that I have experienced thus far...

:Oh yeah! More more more more... Yummy!

:Wait... where did it go?

:It's gone?

:No! Nooooo!!!

:Hahahah AhaHahahaha!

:Hee hee Heeheee

:WaaaaHHH! Give it back!

:It was YOU! You ate my ice cream! I knew it, you dairy villain.

- Next issue: "Trapped behind the Hershey-bars"

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


This shirt used to be light green and I bleached it to have a basic undershirt type layering thing going on. Anyway, to add more interest I wanted to put the elastic like I explained before and thought I'd just take some pictures to make a little tutorial just for fun.

I cut the elastic about 4 inches long (this can very on each person and top, but make it about as long as the distance between the point of the V and almost to the bottom of your bra.) Pin the top of the elastic at the point of the V on the WRONG side of the shirt.
Stretch out the elastic straight down and pin it. Depending on how much you stretch it you will have more or less gathers.. it all depends on what you are going for and you can carefully cut the threads and try again with less or more gathers if you decide you wanted it slightly different after trying it the first time (I actually did this twice while I was making this "tutorial") A good seam ripper is the most important tool for any seamstress, and the people who are good at sewing are really only those people who are willing to rip out and do it again. Only after years and years of practice can things be sewn with less ripping out.. and it still happens. Anyway, it's normal so feel free to change stuff and try again!
When you go to sew it, make sure your bobbin thread and top thread match your shirt (the bobbin thread will be what shows on the outside... I neglected to change the bobbin thread and had to take out some blue and change it to the same color as the top thread... lame.) Stretch out the elastic while you sew a straight stitch. You'll have to pull with one hand behind the needle and foot and pull the elastic with the other hand. I use my left hand in the front and my right hand in the back, but I've been known to switch hands so just go with which ever one feels the most comfortable and you have the most control over the fabric. Always do some back stitches at the beginning before pulling the elastic and do some back stitches at the end as well.
Cut the threads, turn it right side out, and viola! A shapely waist slimming style.

I'm going to do this to a turquoise one that I have too.. and maybe add beads to that one as well.. we'll see. :)

Monday, August 03, 2009

Why do these look so much worse in a picture?

This tank had some holes in the front and I artistically added some fabric to cover them and then added even more fabric to make it look better. I just used a ziggzag stitch and top-stitched it all on with this varrigated green thread that I had.. just gives me an undershirt for some layers and things. I did another tank similar to this, but it was black and had navy blue fabric added to it. It's weird, but whatever...
This rose top is super comfortable and I think it looks good enough to wear to a nice thing. I have some dark red fabric that I want to make some pants to go with it as well as possibly something else.. anyway, this was a nightgown at one point. I sort of just pinched it here and there and thought it looked neat and there you go. It looks worse in the picture than I remember it looking in the mirror... oh well...

This brown one was originally a long sleeved high-necked T-shirt. Very boring, and I hate high necked things. The neck and sleeves are just hand-stitched with the different color and the gathered parts are gathered with beading elastic that I threaded through wooden buttons. Totally stole this idea from an expensive shirt that I saw. It's super comfy.

This purple button up is one of several that I just made the sleeves short. Not super impressive, but super easy.

The violet one is another example of a shirt that was Youssefs. This took a bit more work because it wasn't made very well to begin with and I had to fix a few more things than normal (the whole front button section was slanted and so I did some adjusting and it now won't un-button, but I can pull it over my head anyway, so who cares?) Oh, and it has a purple butterfly embroidered on the pocket. The jeans' embroidery came from another pair that I had that I bought this iron on stuff to fix a patch at the knee (with a butterfly) and added the flowers so that the butterfly didn't look like a patch job. Well... those jeans just got too ratty and so I took off all the iron on stuff from those and added it to these jeans that I wear all the time. I guess it looks good.

This plaid job was a shirt of mine that had short sleeves and a collar. I just hate high necked things and thought it would look better with a bit less plaid. The front is just folded down with elastic in it and the straps were the cuff part on the sleeves so I didn't even have to sew them.. just cut them off the sleeves and sew them to the top

This pinky one doesn't look so good on the dress form, but is a good example of the vertical elastic idea.

Anyway, you asked for more pics and there you go. My clothes aren't that impressive even when I fix them up. A before and after type thing might have been more interesting, but over all they look a lot better then they did. :)


I think I've pretty much finished going threw all my old clothes and altering them in some way to make them new. This shirt was one of Youssef's shirts that was a bit small for him and he never wore. Elastic is so fantastic. I just cut the neckline a 1/2 of an inch from where I wanted it to end up, folded it down that much (just once) and top stitched the elastic on it. Just stretch the elastic slightly while sewing a straight line and then go back over it with another line on the other edge of the elastic (I used 1/4 inch stuff) to give it a polished look. If there is too much gather in one or two spots just snip the elasic at that place and it will loosen it up just enough. I did the same thing on the sleeves (make sure you wrap the elasic around your arm first to get the right length as you don't want it to be uncomfortably tight)
The bottem hem is shorter than it was for my husband. Also an easy thing. I turned it under twice and top stiched it twice to match the two lines on the elastic parts. The flowers on the pocket were an easy daisy stich embroidery pattern. You can buy iron on things like that or leave it plain.

Anyway, just thought this might inspire someone to re-purpose what they already have.

A few other ideas for things - If you have a shirt with an emblem (like my husband did with a polo shirt) you can cover the emblem with a stripe or two running vertically or horizonatally (double sided iron on interfacing and top stitching) works great!

If you have a boring V-neck T-shirt you can add some elastic virtically from the point of the V down. The elasic is about 4 inches or so unstreached and again just sew a straight line while you stretch the elasic (you'd be working from the wrong side of the fabric so you can see the elasic well.. meaning that the bobbin thread will be what's visible on the outside of the shirt) This adds a lovely gather at the bust-line and is about the easiest fix that there is! I got this idea from going to a nice clothing store and examining their clothes and realizing that what they were selling for 50 bucks was just essentially a T-shirt with elasic in that one spot.

Anyway, I have more ideas and could take more pictures if anyone is interested. I like to remake my old stuff and make my house beautiful too with hardly any money. It makes me so much more creative than I would be otherwise and it's so much more satisfying that just buying something.

So yes, the shirt pictured above was a thrift store find that my husband thought he'd wear and never did. The 9 yards of elastic that I bought to use on all of my projects was only 97 cents and I used a lot less than 9 yards on this shirt. The embroidery floss was also something that I had and doesn't cost much. It's safe to say that this shirt cost me less than $2, and took maybe 3-4 hours or so to compleate it.

I hope this post inspires someone. :)